It took the Baltimore Ravens awhile to get in the game against the Houston Texans last night on Monday Night Football, but in the end they pulled out a 23-16 victory, keeping the Super Bowl XLVII champs on track for their first playoff appearance in three years. However, now 12 weeks into the controversial season, for ESPN and the NFL, there was only a dark victory that one might detect in Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Raven’ poem.
With a 6.0 in metered market results, last night’s Monday Night Football hit a season low. A rating that will no doubt add juice to President Donald Trump’s tweet tackle of this morning:
At least 24 players kneeling this weekend at NFL stadiums that are now having a very hard time filling up. The American public is fed up with the disrespect the NFL is paying to our Country, our Flag and our National Anthem. Weak and out of control!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 28, 2017
Now, the empty seats at M&T Bank Stadium might have been a warning sign for the first post-Thanksgiving MNF after yet another controversial weekend. Even though no one from either team protested last night, certainly avoiding showing the playing of the entire national anthem revealed how worried the league and outlets are that politics has contributed to the near double digit ratings declines this season. Or maybe it was just that neither team has a big national following and injuries have depleted their ranks.
Whatever the reason or reasons, Monday’s MNF was down 17% from the very close November 20 game between the victorious 34-31 Atlanta Falcons and the Seattle Seahawks. Up over the previous MNF, last week’s game went on to deliver a 3.5 rating among adults 18-49 and 10.8 million viewers.
To add more context, last night’s MNF dipped 2% from the previous season low of the October 16 match-up between the winning Tennessee Titans and the Indianapolis Colts. And not sure a lot of that had to do with theSupergirl start of the latest Arrowverse crossover on the CW, if you know what I mean?
For instance, looking back over a year, the drop between last night’s MNF and the comparable one of November 28, 2016 is harsh. The Ravens vs. Texans fell from 33% in MM ratings from that Green Bay Packers 27-13 win over the Philadelphia Eagles. It might be added that the 2016 MNF also faced a Supergirl start to the DC heroes crossover of that year. It also should be noted that the Packers and the Eagles have an obvious much greater national appeal – as that rating result of last year makes very clear.
Overall, that Week 12 game of last season saw a 4.2 rating in the key demo and 13.06 million viewers.
Even with that low of last night, ESPN looks to have won Monday in primetime. We’ll update with more MNF as well as those Supergirl crossover ratings and more later. However, for now, park it with this: last night’s MNF peaked with a 7.1 MM rating in the 9:30 – 10 PM slot.